What do Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy have in common?
Less than a week ago, they all died.
At least to Mikayla they did. A couple years ago Mikayla asked me, "Mom, are you the tooth fairy?" and since she was almost eight years old I gave it to her straight. "Yes, I am." and she instantly felt part of a big secret. But she didn't ask about any of the others, and we had planned on waiting until she asked before we told her the real deal about Santa and the Easter Bunny... but she didn't ask. Ever.
I even tried to coax it out of her last fall, knowing that Christmas would be coming up. Asking her leading questions about if she had any questions or wanted to talk about the fact that the Tooth Fairy isn't real. She didn't bite.
As we neared Easter we decided we'd wait until after Easter and tell her the truth, not wanting to break it to her 2 days before the holiday. It had gotten to the point where we worried she'd start getting teased about it at school, but she takes being lied to really hard. One of her close friends lied to her at school a few months ago and she came home sobbing like someone had chopped off her foot. Needless to say I was a little nervous about telling her that it had all been a "lie".
The first chance we got after Easter was Monday evening on the way to Wizard of Oz rehearsal (both the girls are in the Wizard of Oz which opens in less than 2 weeks!) when it was just Mikayla in the car.
Me: Do you remember when I told you about how the Tooth Fairy isn't real and that it's really me and dad?
Me: You know Santa and the Easter Bunny?
Mikayla: Are you saying they're not real too? (looking shocked and bummed)
Me: me and Dad are Santa and the Easter Bunny.
Mikayla: Does that mean nothing is real?
Me: like what things do you mean?
Mikayla: (a little bit frantic) So Leprechauns aren't real!!?
Me: (stifling a giggle) No leprechauns are not real. These things are just fun to imagine and think about. They're all just magical make-believe fun for kids.
She took it pretty well. I told her that now that she was in on the secret she needed to keep the secret, and not tell anyone and ruin the fun for them. She said it would be easy to not tell the little kids but she'd have a hard time keeping it to herself with her friends... and we were 3 minutes away from play rehearsal where there are over 100 kids of all ages.
As we pull in to the parking lot she's got her hand on her mouth saying, "Oh I'm going to tell someone! I'm going to tell someone!" Luckily she didn't. And since getting through that first time around friends I think she has it under control. I'm just happy she wasn't furious with us for "lying" to her all these years, but she understood that it was for fun.
But now, as far as my oldest child goes, Santa and the Easter Bunny are gone. But she'll still get all the goodies! :o)